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The Merry Gentleman (2008)

R  |   |  Drama  |  4 December 2009 (UK)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,132 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 22 user | 57 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

A woman leaves an abusive relationship to begin a new life in a new city, where she forms an unlikely and ironic relationship with a suicidal hit man (unbeknownst to her). Enter a worn, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kareem Bandealy ...
First Victim
...
Jerry
...
Office Worker at Christmas Party
...
Restaurant Patron
...
Michael
Esther Claire ...
Restaurant Patron
...
Mr. Weiss
...
Drunken Businessman
Mike Falevits ...
Guy at Party #1
Sean Fortunato ...
Ted
Shaun Gayle ...
Doctor
...
Female Co-Worker
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Storyline

A woman leaves an abusive relationship to begin a new life in a new city, where she forms an unlikely and ironic relationship with a suicidal hit man (unbeknownst to her). Enter a worn, alcoholic detective to form the third party in a very unusual triangle as this story begins to unfold. Written by Marisa_Gabriella

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A man with a secret. A woman with a past. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

4 December 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A csendes bérgyilkos  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$74,981 (USA) (1 May 2009)

Gross:

$346,286 (USA) (24 July 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Keaton's directorial debut. See more »

Goofs

In the hospital room on Christmas Day, Frank Logan is holding the cup of water in the medium shot, but in the long shots, it is setting on the table. See more »

Quotes

Kate Frazier: [refering to her abusive husband] "I hope he has found God. I just wish he hadn't found me."
See more »

Crazy Credits

After Frank changes his mind about suicide, a scene plays out over the end credits where he's seen walking off into the distance. See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 4 December 2009 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Jangle Christmas
Written by Blaire Reinhard
Performed by Blaire Reinhard
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The most poetic crime drama you'll ever see in your miserable life
31 December 2010 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

The main character doesn't say a word for the first half hour. But in that half hour, if we're paying attention, we get more insight into the depths of a man's soul than if we had just read his 500-page autobiography.

The Merry Gentleman is billed as a crime drama, but that label hardly does it justice. The same way "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold" broke the spy genre, the same way "2001: A Space Odyssey" broke the scifi genre, the same way "Pink Floyd -The Wall" ain't no average musical, this film is anything but your average crime drama. For starters, there's not a single car chase, gunfight, blimp explosion or any of the standard crime drama clichés. Instead, the tension & suspense is masterfully built around secrets. We begin with a secret which only the main character and the audience know. Then there is a secret which the 2nd character only knows (which the audience must slowly piece together). And finally, we have the main character's ultimate secret which is so cryptically presented that it may take you a few days of introspection before you figure it out.

This film is very much like a challenging poem whose meaning is elusive at first glance but whose mood & style sinks into your mind over time. Dialogue is sparse, but every line packs a whollop. In particular, pay attention to the analogy of ghosts & angels which crops up several times both verbally & visually. One of the characters says something like "Ghosts and angels are the same, except ghosts are haunted while angels are blessed." OK, it may not mean much at first, but by the end of the film the significance is absolutely beautiful.

Which brings me to the cinematography: absolutely beautiful. I'm no film school student, but I know what images affect me, and these scenes certainly did. Contrast (gleaming white snowflakes at night), perspective (long corridors at the morgue), symmetry (a lonely theatre marquee) and surrealism (a Christmas tree burning in a wheat field) are just some of the artistic touches you have in store. I can honestly say that I cannot think of a finer directoral debut than Michael Keaton in The Merry Gentleman.

I won't even get into the first rate acting, the haunting musical score, or Katie's adorable accent. This movie is just about perfect. The only reason why I'm giving it only 8 stars instead of 10 is that I'm a real hardass.

By the way, DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILER. DO NOT READ THE DVD DESCRIPTION. AVOID ALL DISCUSSION OF PLOT. This movie is best enjoyed if you know absolutely nothing about the story. The challenge (and the fun) will be even greater.


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